Heather Applewhite- Founder/ Director
Heather Applewhite is pleased to bring Dance Education to the Sacramento area. Minds in Motion is a culmination of her passions and experience in both teaching and the arts. From childhood, music and dance were simply a way of life; she began performing at age four. Her teaching career also began as a young child assisting her mother's dance program and continued to flourish through her life. As a young adult she moved to southern California where she performed and worked with children from across the country and the globe as part of the Young Americans- an organization whose mission is to bring the arts to schools. Her desire to merge the arts and education was cultivated while she worked as both an academic teacher and arts teacher at Creative Planet School of the Arts, in Baldwin Park. After earning a Bachelors in Education from Pitzer College she went on teach as a Fulbright fellow in Indonesia and spent years in South East Asia teaching, studying, and yes, even performing!
Heather has danced with American River College Dance Co., Applegate Dance Co., Phares Theatre Ballet, The Young Americans, Pomona College Dance Co., as well as performed and choreographed for various productions in the greater LA area. While Heather’s technique and experience is rooted in classical ballet, she has always been drawn to explore and expand her movement capabilities. Her teaching is informed by many traditions, cultures, and techniques and includes; Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hula, Modern, Contemporary, Swing, Salsa, Jaipongan (traditional dance of west Java) and Yoga.
Sylvia Halk- Director of Early Childhood Programs
Sylvia Halk has been working with children in dance, theater and early childhood education for over 40 years. She brings years of teaching as well as performing experience to Minds in Motion. A highlight of her performing career was working with the Take Five Dancers in Japan. Sylvia has also worked as a professional choreographer for theatre companies in Northern California, Washington and Hawaii. Sylvia currently holds AS in early childhood education and is in the process of getting her BA degree. She is very committed to bringing a child centered approach to dance that encourages creativity while developing a solid foundation in technique.
Anja Dingman- Director of Community Outreach/Instructor
Anja Dingman started taking ballet, tap, and tumbling lessons with Sylvia Halk when she was 3 and fell in love with the performing arts. In 4th grade she started studying cello and continued both music and dance throughout school. She has performed with many dance groups in the U.S. and Ireland, including: Sylvia Halk’s Dance for Kids, Applegate Dance Company, Momentum Dance Company, Bohemian Bellies, Dynamic Dancing with Yvette, University College Cork Dance Club, and Columbia College Dance Company. Her primary focus during adolescence was in ballet technique, however she has also had experience in tap, jazz, contemporary, belly dance, West African, Irish step, ballroom, and Latin styles. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education and a Music Performance minor, and is pursuing a second major in Music Education. Anja has been a professional member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) since 2013. Anja has a passion for advocating quality arts education in schools and particularly enjoys combining visual, performing, language, and technological arts to enhance students’ learning experience. She also specializes in using creative movement practices to develop students’ self-confidence and 21st Century skills, particularly at the elementary grade levels.
Chelsea Dingman- Instructor
Chelsea Dingman is a dance instructor specializing in creative movement, ballet, tap, contemporary, and belly dance. Chelsea has performed with Applegate Dance Co., danced for and provided choreography for American River College Dance Co., and is currently pursuing an A.A. in Dance at American River College. With over 15 years of performance experience and a background in early childhood development, Chelsea combines her passion and skills in these areas to help nurture dance technique in an environment focused on exploration of creativity, mental and physical well-being, and personal growth.